recipes

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna is one of my family’s all time favorites! If I ask what everyone wants for dinner, someone is sure to ask for this!

It sounds amazing right? It sounds like layers of cheese and ooey gooey goodness, doesn’t it? Well, it IS amazing! But it is nothing like lasagna. It is really more enchilada like….ish. I have no idea who named it that or why. I have tried renaming it but nothing ever sticks. So, it remains Mexican Lasagna.

The recipe was given to me by my husband’s great Aunt Thora when we got married. Maybe the elderly Norwegian woman didn’t know anything about Mexican or Italian cuisine? I am not sure if she made or named the recipe but whoever did was not aware of how lasagna is constructed!

No matter what it is called it is delicious and easy to make with very few ingredients.

Mexican Lasagna

Servings 6

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium onion chopped
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 can black beans drained and rinsed, optional
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can chili con carne with beans
1 package of 10 flour tortillas
shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream

Directions:

Saute beef with onion and garlic. Drain. Add taco seasoning and black beans. Add about a cup of water and cook over medium heat until the water has cooked out.
Mix chili and tomato sauce in a mixing bowl.
Lay out 10 tortilla shells and evenly distribute meat mixture onto them. Sprinkle each with a little (or a lot) of cheese. Roll up and place in a greased 9×13 baking dish.
Pour chili/tomato sauce over all. Sprinkle with more cheese.
Cover and Bake at 350F for 1/2 hour. Remove foil and bake for a few minutes longer to melt cheese.
Serve with sour cream.

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I have changed the original recipe a little. OK, well I haven’t met a recipe yet that I didn’t change at least a little!

I included black beans just to stretch it a little. If you don’t want to put them in there you can use two pound of ground beef or just not have the tortillas so full.

“I never met a lasagna I didn’t like.”

Jim Davis

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Be sure to confuse your family with this “Lasagna”!

Happy Cooking!

Elizabeth XOXO

Baked Chicken Casserole

Keeping in the theme of easy, simple recipes, I want to share this family favorite!

This recipe was given to me by a special family friend. In fact, some of my best recipes I got from her. MaryAnn passed several years ago, which make the recipes I have of hers even more treasured.

You know a recipe is good when the recipe card looks like this!

Baked Chicken Casserole from Mary Ann Harris

I don’t use recipe cards anymore. I have my large collection all at my finger tips on my Cook’n program on my computer. There is something quite sentimental about recipe cards like this one and ones that are in my mother and grandmothers own handwriting though. I will always treasure those.

I have changed this recipe slightly over the years. Mostly just making it bigger for my large family.

If you love Thanksgiving, and especially the turkey stuffing, you will love this casserole! It is simple and has few ingredients. It is easy to put together. It is a true comfort food! Watch out though… it may leave you wanting pumpkin pie!

Baked Chicken Casserole

Servings 8

1 1/2-2 pounds cooked diced chicken Or turkey. Rotisserie Chicken is great for this
7 cups soft bread cubes
1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup undiluted

Preheat oven to 350F. Sauté onion and celery in butter. Add seasonings and baking powder. Turn off heat. Stir in bread cubes.
Beat egg, add milk and broth. Mix with bread mixture. Stir in chicken. Put in a greased baking pan. Spread undiluted soup over top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs if desired.
Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 45. Remove foil and continue baking 10-15 minutes.

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I hope you enjoy this!

Elizabeth XOXO

Macaroni with Cheese with Hot Dogs

When I was a kid, my Mom was a single mom of two. Things were really tight. If she knew of food assistance she didn’t have it. She was the most amazing strong woman! I definitely got my skill of making something of nothing from her. She was so creative.

She made this recipe up and it became one of our all time favorites for dinner or even lunch.

It was requested at my house today for lunch so I decided to share it with you! I did really hesitate though….. Most people are very turned off by the name. Hot dogs in mac and cheese? Ewww. Yeah, it’s not a pretty dish. You gotta trust me on this though! Really, you do!

My kids, my husband and every daycare child I have had in thirty years has loved this stuff!

Give it a chance, try it out! I would love to hear how your kids liked it!

Enjoy!

Elizabeth XOXO

Macaroni and Cheese with Hot Dogs

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 cups uncooked macaroni
1 package sliced hot dogs
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add sliced hot dogs. Drain. Return noodles and sliced hot dogs to the pan. Add tomato sauce, diced canned tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in shredded cheddar cheese. Do not over stir.

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Soup Weather

I love soup!!! I love all kinds of soup!!! I am somewhat obsessed with soup! Buuuuuttttt….. I can’t have soup in the summer. I just can’t do it. It’s not right. Yeah, I know there are cold soups…meh. I like my soups hot. Lava hot. With a side of warm crusty bread. Mmmmmmm.

So I get pretty excited for fall! Pumpkin spice everything and scarves and boots and SOUP!! Yay!!! Call me a basic white girl.

Photo cred: Aisling O Connor

A couple weeks ago my hubby and I went to one of my favorite restaurants for a Saturday lunch date. The soup of the day was “Lasagna Soup”. Yum! Hubby ordered it! I can’t remember what I had… it obviously was forgettable. That Lasagna Soup though…… oh wow!

I don’t know if you are like this, but whenever I have something really good at a restaurant, I instantly start trying to figure out how to replicate or improve upon it at home. I am always sure I can make it and maybe make it better! Sometimes I do, sometimes not.

This time was no different. I went home and started looking at recipes for Lasagna Soup. We do a spaghetti in the instant pot that is really good because the pasta is cooked in the sauce, so I knew I wanted to do it that way. After a lot of comparing recipes I came up with my own.

I was anxious to see how my family and especially my husband like it since he was the one who had eaten it at the local restaurant. I needn’t be worried!! He said it was ten times better that the restaurant’s soup and please make this again, soon!!

Ding ding ding!! Ladies and Gentleman, we have a winner!! I love when I make something that just hits a new level of HOLY YUM!

And soooo… I am here to share it with you!! I hope you and your family enjoy this as much as we did!

Happy Fall and happy soup weather!

Lasagna Soup

Servings 8

For a little bit of family fun, don’t remove the bay leaf. Whoever gets the bay leaf is lucky and doesn’t have to help with dishes!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion diced
4 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
7 cups chicken stock
8 ounces Mafalda pasta or bow ties
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
8 ounces ricotta cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in Instant Pot on the Saute setting. Add sausage, onion, and garlic, breaking up sausage into bite sized piece. Cook until sausage is browned. Add Italian Seasoning, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in red wine and stir.
Change setting on Instant Pot to simmer.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and gently stir to moisten all pasta noodles. Set the pot to manual high for 8 minutes and seal the cooker. It should take about 10-12 minutes to come up to temperature.
As soon as it is done, quick release and stir. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the ricotta mixture. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, parsley, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
To serve, place a scoop of the ricotta cheese mixture in each soup bowl, and then ladle the hot soup over the cheese. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Garnish with fresh basil.



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Welcome to Wine Food and Family!

Hi! I am so glad you are here! I have wanted for so long to be able to share my passion for food and love of family with you! I am excited to finally be able to do that. I hope that you enjoy the stories, food and wine recommendations I have for you.

I love my family. I love spending time with my family! One of the best ways to bring my family together is food! I don’t know about your family but mine likes good food! Which is handy because I love to cook. I am terrible about writing down my recipes, however. My kids having been nagging me for years to get my recipes written down so that they can make them as well. What better way to do that than with a blog?! I get to share my recipes with my kids and with you and hopefully bring other families together over some great food and drinks.

I live in North Idaho. It is a beautiful little piece of heaven. (Shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone! We are trying to keep it a secret!) My parents, my girls, grand-kids and my siblings all live near by.

Home Sweet Home

Last weekend, my granddaughter had an ice skating competition in Missoula, Montana. My husband, my two oldest daughters, my granddaughter and myself made the short road trip to watch her and spent the weekend there.

She is seriously so adorable and an excellent skater! She placed 4th in both of her events. She was up against some really good competition this year!

While we there we stopped at the Wheat Montana Bakery to buy flour. They sell flour, cereals, baked goods, sandwiches and salads. All the flour and baked goods are made from their locally grown wheat. I use their flour exclusively for for all my baking. We make special trips to Montana to buy it by the 50 pound bag. It is high quality flour and it is Non-GMO.
If you ever find yourself in Missoula Montana stop into their cute little bakery and have some of their delicious goodies!

I have always enjoyed cooking but didn’t do a lot of baking. I knew how. Just wasn’t my thing…. until I tried bread making. My mother used to make eight loaves of bread every single Saturday! Warm bread on Saturday afternoon was my favorite! I loved it! I also didn’t want to do it. She did it all by hand and I had no desire to do such a thing.

Along came my beautiful pink Kitchen Aid mixer. Isn’t she beautiful?! This is a super old picture back when she was pretty new. I believe I’ve had it for about twelve years now.

Early picture of my pink Kitchen Aid, a gift from my hubby!

Of course, I wanted to try everything in it! That is when I discovered bread making with the Kitchen Aid! It was so much fun! Pretty soon I was adjusting recipes and making all kinds of breads for family and friends. After a few years I began to worry I was wearing my kitchen aid out making bread in it so often. I don’t think it was meant for what I was doing to it!

I switched to making my loaves of bread using the dough cycle of my bread machine and then taking it out and baking it in the oven. This seems to work well and my kitchen aid is happy and healthy making cookies, cakes, whipped cream and all kinds of other wonderful things.

This is my favorite go to bread. It is the perfect mixture of wheat and white flour so that it is not too heavy. You can mix up the grain blends, flax seeds and hemp hearts and use what ever suits your fancy just keep the measurements the same.

I have all my dry ingredients in canisters in this order in my cabinet and I can throw a loaf in the machine in five minutes. If you make bread often, that is a really convenient way to do it!

My Momma taught me well!


Three tips for slicing bread

My Mom taught me these great tips! I hope with a little practice they help you too!

  • Look at the bread not the knife. In other words, keep your focus on the slice staying the same thickness, not focusing on keeping the knife straight. It works!
  • Use an electric knife if possible, if not, use a good serrated knife.
  • It is best to let the bread cool completely before cutting it.

While this is ideal…. good luck, because there is nothing better than warm bread with butter on it, especially on Saturday afternoon.

Healthy Wheat Bread

Ingredients

1 cupWheat Montana All-purpose white flour
1 cupWheat Montana Prairie Gold whole wheat flour
1/4 cupmulti-grain cereal or super grain blend of choice
1/4 cuphemp hearts
1/4 cupraw organic flax seed
1/4 cupvital wheat gluten
1/3 cuporganic sugar or 1/4 cup honey
1/4 cupinstant potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)
1 tablespooninstant yeast
2 tablespoonsinstant dry milk powder
1 teaspoonsalt
1 1/4 cupwarm water
1 tablespoonbutter or olive oil
1 tablespoonwhite vinegar
butter for top

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Put warm water, butter and, vinegar in bread machine pan. Dump in dry ingredient on top. Start the bread machine on the “Dough” cycle. When done kneading and rising, work the dough a bit to get out air bubbles, shape into a loaf and put into greased/sprayed loaf pan. Heat oven to 375* and let the loaf rise to about double. Bake for 27 minutes, turn pan around and bake for 3 more minutes. Remove from oven and brush with butter. Let cool for 5 minutes and then turn out of loaf pan onto a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 2 hours before cutting. Store in a ziplock bag.